European markets are broadly higher today with shares in France leading the region. Asian markets ended the day on a firm note with Nikkei leading the rally. Meanwhile Chinese stocks retreated on weak economic data. Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite fell over 0.58% and 0.51% respectively.
The Indian Rupee was trading flat at Rs 64.16 against the US dollar.
Energy stocks ended the day on a mixed note with the notable gains witnessed in Chennai Petroleum and GAIL. Shares of NTPC and Indian Oil today witnessed selling pressure following reports that the Union Cabinet has approved the proposals to divest its stake in both the companies. The cabinet has approved 5% disinvestment in NTPC and 10% in Indian Oil Corporation. The proposed share sale of 5% in NTPC would fetch the government Rs 55.6 bn, while that of 10% in IOC would amount to Rs 79.3 bn. Thus, the stake sale in both companies would help the government mop up over Rs 130 bn at current market price. The government holds 74.96% in NTPC and 68.57% in IOC.
Shares of aluminum major Hindalco fell over 3% after its US subsidiary Novelis reported weak results. Novelis brings in around two-third of Hindalco's consolidated revenues and one-third of the company's profits. Novelis, which is a global leader in aluminum rolled products and the world's largest recycler of aluminum reported nearly 50% decline in its net profit at US$29 million compared to US$54 million in the corresponding quarter of previous fiscal. The fall in profits was due to three key factors - strong dollar led to a sharp decline in regional metal premiums, aluminum price lag and outage at one of its plants. Still, volumes increased 1% during the quarter to 758 kilo tonnes.